PLATEAU, Nigeria – The Senator representing Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang has said he will not be party to, nor grant consent to any proposed legislation by the National Assembly that will compromise or subvert the fundamental rights of Nigerians and in particular, the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the nation’s constitution.
He equally said that as a representative of the people, he cannot be party to any legislation that will deprive Nigerians the right to “freedom of speech and expression”, adding that backing such legislation is “tantamount to endorsing and introducing a regime of tyranny”.
Senator Gyang disclosed this through his Special Adviser on Media and Protocol, Hon. Musa Ashoms, in Jos, the Plateau State Capital.
He said, “The Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District has been inundated with messages, calls, emails, chats on WhatsApp and direct contact by citizens who are agitated and had to express their displeasure over the ‘Hate Speech’ and ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation’ Bills currently undergoing passage into law by the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The views expressed by many Nigerian citizens and even foreign nationals who have reached him all voiced out against the passage of the two Bills.
“The views so expressed align with his thoughts and position as the Senator representing Plateau North”, he maintained.
“Moreso that there are extant laws in our jurisprudence that address the concerns raised by the two Bills.
According to him, “Having sworn to an oath to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Senator I.D. Gyang will not be a party to, nor grant consent to any proposed legislation that will compromise nor subvert the fundamental rights of citizens and in particular, the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the same Constitution.
“To deprive citizens of the right to freedom of speech and expression is tantamount to endorsing and introducing a regime of tyranny”, he warned.
“This becomes even more draconian when death sentence has been prescribed as penalty in the Hate Speech Bill.
He however said, “In furtherance of citizens participation in the making of any legislation, Sen. Gyang has, with effect from Monday 25th November, 2019, open a register at his Constituency office, ‘The Peoples Parliament’ No.1 Ibrahim Alfa Road, Giring Abattoir Jos for citizens to sign and make their position known on the two Bills.
“The Distinguished Senator shall table all the views so canvassed on the two Bills before the Senate as the voice and wish of the people of Plateau North”, he stressed.